Hulu Pulls the Plug on Free Streaming Service

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Hulu is ditching its free service and going subscription-only. But if you’re a fan of Hulu’s free programming, don’t worry: You’ll still be able to catch up on many of your favorite shows — and still for free — thanks to a new Hulu partnership.

After Hulu phases out its free streaming service — which should be complete in the next few weeks — it will offer just two subscription plans: $7.99 a month with ads, or $11.99 for commercial-free viewing.

However, Hulu has agreed to license its free programming to Yahoo, and it can be seen on Yahoo View, a new ad-supported free TV-streaming site, according to Variety. You can watch the five most recent episodes of shows from popular networks on Yahoo View about a week after the shows first air.

It’s been nine years since Hulu first joined the on-demand television scene. At the time, it launched a free, ad-supported service that offered viewers on-demand streaming of recently aired TV shows from networks such as NBC, Fox and ABC.

But times have changed. In the Variety report, Ben Smith, Hulu senior vice president, says:

“For the past couple years, we’ve been focused on building a subscription service that provides the deepest, most personalized content experience possible to our viewers. As we have continued to enhance that offering with new originals, exclusive acquisitions, and movies, the free service became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy.”

Variety says Hulu is also preparing to launch a live-TV service sometime next year.

For more on streaming programs, check out “17 Places You Can (Legally) Download or Stream Free Movies and TV.”

What do you think of Hulu’s plans to ditch its free programming? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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